Spokesperson: Tony Abbott - Minister for Health & Ageing
The Commonwealth Government has decided to include the services of university trained exercise physiologists under Medicare’s allied health measure.
From 1 January 2006, exercise physiologists will be among the allied health professionals able to provide Medicare services to people with chronic and complex illnesses.
Including exercise physiology services under the Medicare allied health initiative means patients will have greater access to professional services for physical rehabilitation and disease prevention. Exercise physiologists provide exercise therapy to prevent and manage chronic disease.
Exercise physiologists can improve the health of people with chronic and complex medical conditions such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and arthritis. They can also help patients with dementia, osteoporosis and depression, as well as people who have had a stroke.
To be eligible to receive a Medicare rebate for these services, patients will need to be referred by their GP and have their health managed through an Enhanced Primary Care plan.
Eligible patients will be entitled to a total of five allied health visits a year, including exercise physiology services. Each of the five visits will attract a Medicare rebate of $44.95.
For more information on the Government’s allied health measure visit www.health.gov.au/chronicdisease
Media contact: Kate Miranda, 0417 425 227